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herdcentral

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About herdcentral

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    Australia
  1. herdcentral

    Is a Border Collie right for me?

    Well my first dog ever was a high drive working bred ACD and I had lots of youthful energy so I did just fine. As to dog sport and herding, when I started I had zero experience with those sorts of activities. I never expected things go perfectly and still don't. As long as you are having fun with your dog!. I am still very novice with herding but I live on a farm and my dogs work well for me. Trials would likely be another matter lol. Agility, well my BC and I just go out there and have fun. Sometimes we do really well more than often we don't but who cares really. I am sure in the hands of an experienced agility person with all the resources my boy could have been a star. But he has me and we have fun. As to mistakes in training, yeah been there and sometimes I have had to go back with certain obstacles or foundations and start from scratch. Border collies are always keen to learn and as long as you have put some foundation down and have a good respectful relationship with your dog it is fine. The thing with dog sports is not to get too hung up on it all, things go wrong, things can be retrained and in the end it is about having fun. People can get very intense about this stuff. I don't and I don't pay heed to anyone who might make mean comments, which can put some novice handlers off. There are also plenty of supportive people. There is always a ton to learn but never lose the joy of just having fun with your companion.
  2. herdcentral

    Border collies in the city

    I farm now but when I lived in suburbia with high drive working dogs, Cattle dogs and Border collie I spent a lot of my free time with my dogs. Rain, hail or shine I was up crack of dawn before work and sometimes walking dogs late at night. Weekend activities always included the dogs. The commitment level was high maintenance but my dogs repaid in spades. Same as other people have mentioned. Even on my farm when there is not a lot of sheep work or I am working I walk the dogs twice a day. They always chill out when I am not doing anything. I have a young dog currently and I often take her for extra moonlight walks if it has been too hot in the day and I also do conditioning and training work inside with her every evening. I also have puzzle balls, snuffle mat, bones etc that I leave with her if I have to pen her for any length of time. It can work and will possibly depend on the dog but all mine have been active and needed to be involved in my life to be happy. I have fostered the occasional working breed that has been handed in for behavioural problems and it has generally stemmed from complete lack of understanding of the dogs needs by the previous owner. I myself have dogs from rescue that were completely out of control and they have turned out to be terrific dogs. They just needed a home that understood their needs.
  3. herdcentral

    Tess after THR

    These days there is a system called an uncemented hip replacement system (I have the Biomedtrix BFX). So the parts are not cemented into place, they are press fit and held by friction and the bone grows into them. The cemented systems over time can loosen but this is not a problem with the uncemented system and will easily out last the dog so can be used on younger dogs. The materials are also very high tech. I chose this option because it gives the best outcome for a totally normal hip function. The key is to find a surgeon who has done at least a 100 hips and there is one specialist where I live at our University vet school who has this experience. He will only do the surgery if the life of the dog is not viable without. My dog was so bad when my local vet who deals with a lot of working dogs took the x-rays she rang me up and asked me if I wanted to euthanaise while my dog was still sedated. She continued to get worse while I waited till her growth plates had closed and was unable to run without falling over. it was horrible to watch. The specialist didn't even think twice in her case. The first hip is successful in 85-90% of cases. 10% of cases have complications and 5% of those can be fixed and 5% are a disaster. Generally the disasters are most likely to occur where it is impossible to keep the dog quiet in the first 4-6 weeks weeks or the owner does not follow the strict protocol. My girl has been crate and penned trained so was very good thank goodness. If I need her other hip done at least we know this so her chances of success are good There are dogs doing agility and working sheep and doing protection sports after THR surgery. I doubt I will run her through the yards where a dog has to back sheep and jump panels, I have my super athletic kelpie and my other BC for that. I want her to be a paddock dog and to perhaps trial with. I will keep you up to date with her progress. I found it very helpful to read other peoples experiences when undertaking this surgery because it is really scary in those first 6 weeks where there is risk of dislocation, fracture if the implant subsides and infection. Her femur fissured during surgery when they tapped the stem of the implant into her femur and they had to use a circle of wire to brace it, the sciatic nerve was also temporarily damaged. This surgery is harder the smaller the dog. I sent the video to her surgeon and he is very pleased with her progress and he is keen for her to have a working life so will work with him.
  4. herdcentral

    Tess after THR

    Hi, I thought I would post a video of my 14 month old Border collie first time on sheep after having Total hip replacement surgery nearly 14 weeks ago. She was diagnosed just after 6 months old and was very lame. I had to wait till she was 10 months old to do the surgery. I am thrilled with the results as the other option was euthanasia it was that bad. I am looking forward now to working with her. I like what I am seeing particularly as this is probably only her 5th time on sheep, she had one of the older ewes stand up to her and she didn't give an inch and had a controlled intensity about her that moved the sheep on.. I have no commands on her as yet so we are right at the beginning of our journey. I may have to do the other hip but that will remain to be seen. Just so happy seeing her able to do what she was born to do.
  5. herdcentral

    Starting young pup

    They are primarily Wiltshire horn genetics with polled characteristics after an infusion of Australian polled Merino and several other polled British breed sheep. They were developed in Australia. I like them because they are easy care, don't fence crawl which is essential as I am surrounded by fine wool merino flocks and they are nice to handle. They also tend not to lay down lots of fat as prime lambs. They mainly twin. They are seasonal breeders so I run the rams year round with them. The only criticism I have is that they are seasonal breeders and tend to lamb just that little bit late to catch the full benefits of the late winter and spring flush where I farm in the low rainfall area. I am currently selecting my earliest breeding ewes and buy rams from early lambing females. I would post a photo of some of my best lambs from this year but don't know how to upload straight from my computer. Until I get my new satellite dish I don't have the megs out here to keep uploading to photo and video sharing sites and then downloading on to here.
  6. herdcentral

    Starting young pup

    Thanks, the sheep are 8 month old Wiltipol ewe lambs
  7. herdcentral

    Starting young pup

    Hi Donald, she is a Border collie out of imported UK ISDS lines and Australian working lines
  8. herdcentral

    Starting young pup

    Video of Tess at 7 months old second time on ewe lambs in the training ring . I just let her go, with me walking around in the ring videoing her. She has no commands on her. Just before this video was taken I was becoming concerned with what I was observing in her gait and had her x-rayed. Diagnosis severe HD with femoral heads only 1/4 and 1/3 in the joints. Options presented were euthanasia or Total Hip replacement surgery. She is now 13 months old and 11 weeks out from THR on her most symptomatic hip and doing great. Surgeon reckons I can try her back on sheep in about 4 weeks. Biggest concern will be how her other hip stands up. If it doesn't, I will have a choice of a second THR or the cheaper FHO. Any advice or experience with other working dogs in this situation would be much appreciated. I like this little dog she is full of spunk and intelligence
  9. herdcentral

    Choosing an Agility Venue

    We only have 2 venues. The most popular in my state is ANKC and I enjoyed the venue and the people. My dogs are registered on working sheepdog, Border collie or kelpie council registers so they don't have to be neutered as these are recognised by ANKC. The other ADAA which is less popular but I enjoy it because it is cheaper and has more variety. You can call an NFC run and spend the time training in the ring which I like as I live on a farm so it is useful with a young dog to get them used to a trial environment. You can choose to run international or regular so have a wide choice of heights and course times depending on the abilities of your dog and yourself. They don't care what breeding your dog is, so neutering is not in the equation. I would just pick the venue that most suits my budget and my dogs. Theses days I choose to run ADAA over ANKC because they suit me better. If I lived closer I would probably run both.
  10. I have one of each. An accurate moderately paced dog and a full on fireball. I get more titles with my moderate pacer and he enjoys agility and is in demand as a pairs dog because he is so accurate. He is nice and relaxing to run and usually places midfield. My wild child will be in the top placings if I get him clear and I hit the sweet spot of handling a course, but more often than not something goes awry. He is loads of fun to run and I always have my heart in my mouth when I step up to the start line. I have to be on my A game when I run him. He doesnt spin and bark he just forges ahead if I am too slow. He is a great sheepdog as well.
  11. herdcentral

    Herding Lambs?

    I am definitely no expert but me and my dogs manage most tasks. I haven't had too much of a problem moving ewes and their lambs. The mothers can stamp a bit and some sly old girls will try and abscond with their lambs when they see an opportunity. I find if the dog works them calmly they are less likely to get upset. I have 2 dogs and one has a lot more presence and very few ewes mess with him, the other one, a kelpie, works with patience and has a fair bit of eye and will hold her ground and the ewes usually stand down and move on. The lambs just stick my mamas side as far as I can see. Both my dogs move young lambs reasonably effectively although they have to work a bit harder and be on the ball.
  12. herdcentral

    Will this even be worth it, or completely useless?

    Wow, I don't know these people as I live in a different country but if anyone hit my dog, my reaction would be instant and I would be out of there so fast. I have trained many dogs and violence is simply not required. Hitting a dog on the head is particularly bad. I use a stick to train with but I don't hit my dog with it. Good leadership does not require violence in my books. That experience sounds totally psycho if indeed it occurred as reported, that I dont know.. It does sound slightly bizarre.
  13. herdcentral

    Brother and sister genetics

    I have never had a problem with rimadyl but there are other options so if you are concerned why not just go for an alternative. I have used several options myself and they all work pretty well.
  14. I have a couple of hundred sheep at peak times, but it is a low intensity system so my dogs are really only busy at marking, weaning and drafting and when there is a problem and I need to catch a lamb or sick sheep. Those days are intense but sporadic and I couldn't do it without the dogs, but I wouldn't say they are overworked lol. My neighbours have a lot more sheep but they primarily use bikes, cars and quads to muster. Their dogs get a good work out when the sheep are in the yards but most of the time they spend their days riding around with the farmers or hanging out back at the sheds. I have seen quite a lot of portly sheep dogs around my area. The area is extensive and sheep management is relatively low. Grain growing is the main money spinner out here. Sheep are more an irritation for many.
  15. herdcentral

    crate at night? What about mess?!

    All my pups have been in crates by my bed. I toilet them last thing at night before I go to bed and usually get them out between 5.30 and 6.30 the next morning or when they are restless. Never seem to have had an accident in their crates. There have been occasions when the pup is restless in the night and I get up but that is rare. And yes in the morning the pup needs to be express rushed outside so they dont pee on the way out.
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